Vamp on the Batwalk
Publisher: Gold Nugget Games Designer: Jon Simantov
Artist: Mike Rankin Player Count: 2-6 Age Appropriateness: 14+ Playtime: 20 Minutes
"As an immortal vampire, you wouldn't be caught dead in last millennia's attire. But, how do you know if you're wearing the hottest trends if you can't even see yourself in the mirror?
A vampire fashion show of course! Vamp on the Batwalk is a unique trick-taking game where you play the role of vampires attempting to outperform each other in a fashion show. Use deduction and wit to play the best cards to win shows, but the thing is you can't see the value of your own cards! Unlike most card games, in Vamp on the Batwalk you only see the back of your cards. You are a vampire after all, which means you can't see how good you look in the mirror! Take to the runway and show the world what you've got!"
Vamp on the Batwalk is an all-around quick and fairly light game. The small box, which pieces together quite nicely to create the batwalk, contains 42 tarot sized cards, 6 character standees, and a rulebook. You can acquire an additional 28 cards and 4 standees by purchasing the expansion with the base game on Kickstarter. Though we only had a look at the prototype it seems as if each of these components will meet the standard for quality in card games.
In Vamp on the Batwalk you are trying to scout the competition and deduce what cards you most likely hold in your own hand. The only information you have is the suit of each of your cards. The number value and whether or not the card contains a star or garlic symbol is a mystery. However, you can make educated guesses by both examining the cards in the hands of other players and by considering what has already been played over the course of that round. To start the game each player picks a standee along with the matching suit of cards. All of these cards are shuffled together while the remainder are set back in the box. Deal five cards to each player and place your standees on the batwalk start space. Pick up all your cards and be sure not to look at the face of the cards in your own hand. Only opposing players can see what cards you hold. The game begins with the most fashionable player laying down a card face up. Turns then progress in a clockwise manner with each player laying one card face up as well. After everyone has played a card the player who laid the highest value card that matches the lead suit wins the show and gains a point unless one of the following occurs:
1) Someone steals the show by playing a card of the exact same value that is currently the lead card. This player would immediately score a point and become the new lead card.
2) A Star Card of any suit is played during the show. The most recently played Star Card at the show's end wins that show, unless a Garlic Card is played.
3) A Garlic Card AND a Star Card are played during the show. In this case the most recently played Garlic Card wins the show. Garlic Cards always lose if a Star Card has not also been played.
The player to the right of the show winner starts the next show and this continues until all hands are empt which signifies the end of a round. Whoever has the most points at the end of three rounds OR whoever reaches ten points first is officially the most fashionable vampire!
Take a look at the image below for a few scoring examples!
In a two player game, you and the other player face off against last year's show winner. While their style is good, it is also predictable. Are you better than last year's fashion? Set up the game as normal, but play with three suits and deal a third hand for last year's winner. Lay their hand face-up, and play their cards in order from left to right. Starting with last year's winner play as normal in a clockwise fashion. Highest score after three rounds win, unless last year's winner reaches five points in which case they immediately win.
We like to keep our previews as opinion free as possible since we haven't had a chance to truly dive into the published version of the game, but I will say Vamp on the Batwalk is a fun and light-hearted game that reminds me of many card games from my childhood. A wonderful combination of theme, light strategy, and fun that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Be sure to take a look at the Kickstarter which is linked below to see a work in progress rulebook, learn more about the game, download a print and play version, and maybe even grab a copy for your own board game collection!
Below is a link to Vamp on the Batwalk on BGG to see more content on the game. We’d also love you to join us in the comments section with your thoughts. Create a member profile and let us know what you think! Additionally, be sure to like us on Facebook for a chance to win a copy of this game and others in the future!